David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

26
Jun
Screenshot_2014-06-26-18-37-35

For the next installment of our ongoing series Things You May Not Have Noticed About Android L So Let Us Tell You About Them, we're heading over to revamped settings app. Now, sure, it looks pretty and nice and oh so clean, but the settings menu has a new surprise in store: search.

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Like many Samsung phones, stock Android now has a built-in search function in the settings area, allowing you to quickly and scroll-lessly find just what you're looking for.

26
Jun
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Update: As many of you have pointed out, this feature isn't new for everyone. What is new is the checkbox you're seeing below, which was not previously a part of the sign-in process. The checkbox, now decoupled from the global "restore all the things" setting, lets you get back just the Wi-Fi passwords but not apps and settings, or the other way around (which isn't nearly as useful).

While it's not exactly aggravating, per se, having to enter your Wi-Fi password every time you get a new phone or tablet (or reset your current one) is something that doesn't exactly feel like living in the future.

26
Jun
Screenshot_2014-06-26-17-24-54

Here's a cool little Android "L" feature you may not have noticed - just bring up your lockscreen and swipe right. Boom. Dialer. This new shortcut, unlike the old camera gesture, does require that you enter your pin or unlock code before the dialer will actually open, but it's handy nonetheless.

Screenshot_2014-06-26-16-56-22 Screenshot_2014-06-26-16-58-00 Screenshot_2014-06-26-16-56-43

You can, of course, alternatively swipe up on the dialer icon at the bottom of the lockscreen, too, though this is arguably quicker and definitely a bit more eyes-free in terms of getting the gesture right.

26
Jun
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Developers and Android information fanatics, this is just a quick PSA that the official API overview, developer materials, and L Developer Preview reference are all now available on the Android developers site. The API overview can be found here, and the developer reference is right here.

If you want a detailed, piece-by-piece breakdown of the developer-facing changes in Android, the developer reference is by far your best bet. It includes tons of information, what's been added, what's been changed, and what's been removed in the "L" release.

26
Jun
Screenshot_2014-06-26-17-24-54

In the "news that will ease your OCD" category, Android "L" finally adds proper support for the battery percentage trick we were first made aware of in Android 4.4. Yes, you still have to download an app from XDA (or use a couple lines of ADB commands) from this post to get it working in the first place, but in the "L" release it no longer periodically disappears or decides not to work in certain situations.

26
Jun
dng

There have been rumblings of RAW-style image capture support in Android for some time now, and it looks like the "L" release will finally bring photographers everywhere the freedom to individually process and archive their smartphone photos DSLR-style. The "L" developer documentation specifically mentions the new DngCreator class, an API that will allow camera apps to capture images and save them in the Digital Negative format, an open standard published by Adobe as a more generally-compatible alternative to RAW images (which generally require OEM or camera-specific plugins).

26
Jun
unnamed

Ever wondered why you have to open up a PDF in Android on Chrome or using a 3rd-party viewer? Well, it's because up until now Android hasn't had a native PDF rendering tool in place. As of Android "L," it does. If you're on Android 4.4 or below, try opening a PDF in the Drive app - you'll be sent to whatever your native PDF viewing tool happens to be. Now, if you're on the "L" preview release, do the same thing in Drive (make sure no PDF viewers are installed, that might break this behavior), and you'll see the PDF displays natively in the app.

26
Jun
apis

Google has just released the "L" preview factory images for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi, and you can get them right now. Here are direct links:

images

Go! And if you're a developer, the "L" preview SDK is available now, as well.

Android Developers

26
Jun
apis

Developers, ROMers, countrymen - lend me your ears, because the SDKs for both the Android "L" release preview and Android Wear have just landed. Just fire up the SDK manager (be sure to update your SDK tools!) and you should see both are ready for downloading immediately, so you can start digging around in the latest Android releases.

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The Wear SDK was actually released as a preview a few months back, but today is the real deal, with all the Wear resources you'll need to get developing great wearable experiences for the Gear Live, LG G Watch, and Moto 360.

25
Jun
unnamed (1)

Google Drive received a substantial bump to version 2.0 today, bring it up from version 1.3.222.29 to 2.0.222.39. The new app doesn't seem to have many user-facing changes outside a single big one we noticed, in the form of a brand-new UI in the file details view. Take a look below.

What's new?

Screenshot_2014-06-25-15-25-21 Screenshot_2014-06-25-15-25-46

This new interface is substantially more modern, completely ditching the top bar in favor of a blown-up document preview and a grid of buttons that make performing tasks with your files much easier.

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